Sex-myths-story-hero

Because the horizontal tango shouldn’t make you trip.

Nowadays, there is so much conflicting information floating around about sex, it’s all too easy to get swept up in the flood tide. Whether its the debate about the (un)importance of size, the STD on a toilet seat paranoia, or just the pressure to orgasm to please a partner, there’s enough confusion involved to make you want to declare celibacy.

Thankfully, common sexual old wives’ tales are easily debunked if you have the right information, and sex therapist Desiree Spierings has a lot to say about these seven sex myths she encounters far too often…

1. Sex is a substitute for exercise

Contrary to popular belief, sex is (very unfortunately) not a substitute for exercise. The rather fabulous notion that an hour of rigorous sex is equivalent to an hour of cardio is, sadly, flawed. However, all is not entirely lost; while you shouldn’t replace regular exercise with regular sexercise (although it’s great to have both), sex does burn some calories.

“Sex is not a substitute for exercise, but it is true that you could burn some calories from having a good sexual encounter,” says Spierings.

“Some women do give this as a reason or a motivator to have more sex.”

2. Guys are always up for it

How many times have we heard that men are up for sex all day, every day, every minute? According to Spierings, this just isn’t true.

“This is one of the most common myths I come across in our practice; the belief that all men think about is sex, and that they are always up for it. In reality, there are many men out there with lower levels of desire,” Spierings asserts.

“Men do get affected by being tired, stressed, sick, or just having a lot on their mind. The added pressure they then feel from their partner – who often highlights there is something wrong with them, because they aren’t always up for it – can in turn lead to anxiety and an even lower sex drive.”

3. Men have higher libidos than women

On its own, this is a classic misconception. However, there is a certain degree of truth to it. According to Spierings.

“Women also like to think about sex and fantasize, but it is true more women than men can lose their spontaneous desire for sex in longer term relationships. What you often do see is that these women’s sexual mindset has turned off a bit, or sometimes a lot. This means they aren’t thinking about sex. They are thinking about all the other things on their to-do list. Even if sex is on the to-do list, it is often the very last item on it.”

4. Lots of sex leads to a ‘loose’ vagina

“Lots of sex will not lead to a loose vagina,” states Spierings.

“The pelvic floor muscle is very strong and designed to be able to stretch a lot and then also stretch back, like an elastic band.”

However, it’s possible to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which can make achieving the big O through vaginal intercourse even easier. Spierings advises regular kegel exercises to make this happen.

“Besides other health benefits of having a strong pelvic muscle, such as preventing urinary incontinence later on, it can also help in terms of achieving more sexual pleasure and being in touch with your sexual side a bit more.”

5. You can get an STD from a toilet seat

This myth is simply untrue, says Spierings.

“STIs cannot live outside the body for a long time and especially not on a hard and cold surface like a toilet seat. Also, it is important to note that urine is usually sterile, so STIs are also not present in it. You can however, get an STI from skin-to-skin contact, even without penetration, such as herpes, pubic lice, and genital warts.” Yet another reason to use a condom.

6. You’re less likely to get pregnant in a hot tub or pool

This myth is an incredibly dangerous one to buy into, and Spierings feels very strongly about it.

“Please do not be fooled by this misconception that you cannot fall pregnant if you have sex in water. Water does not kill sperm or prevent pregnancy,” she states.

“Once sperm has been ejaculated in the vagina its mission is to find the egg. Although being in a hot tub for over half an hour might slightly lower sperm count, it is important to remember there will still be enough sperm left to get you pregnant. It only takes one!”

7. Your partner will be let down if you don’t come

“This is quite a common myth we see women come into our practice with. They feel a lot of pressure to learn how to orgasm and some even believe because they cannot, they have lost relationships over it,” Spierings said.

“It is important to note that, even though all women should be able to orgasm externally via clitoral stimulation, not all women can reach an orgasm internally, via vaginal stimulation. Women can be very satisfied sexually, even without reaching an orgasm. Most men absolutely do not consider the inability to reach orgasm during sex a relationship deal-breaker. If they did, there is something not right about the relationship in the first place.”

Images via atrl.net, z31.net, giphy.com and mashable.com.